Before the rush..

Yes it has been a very long time since I’ve sat here to write. My focus has been on a project two years in the making, and yesterday I mailed my certification package away. I hope to hear news in a few months. But as I worked on that,  life still went along. Kids in school, laundry, snow outside, playdates and visits with friends, family, sports and all of the things that fill our day. So much to share, but so little time in the day. Inspiration came to me today as I felt I wanted to write this:

Before the Rush.

I sit here now and all is quiet

but I know well enough it won’t last.

The day will begin be it warm or cold

and my little ones will wake with adventure to behold.

 

What will be in store for them today?

What will come for me today?

I think of all the things we need to do

I wonder what mischief and joys we’ll get into.

 

How many toys and dishes will I clean up,

How many loads of clothes,

but more importantly

How many hugs and kisses and tickle of toes?

 

My mind wanders off to a place up ahead

To the future of life for my children.

Where my grand-kids run and play

and listen eagerly to hear what I have to say.

 

Our world is forever changing,

Life brings us challenges

I hope that my kids can learn and grow

as their experiences teach them all they need to know.

 

Lessons can come in profound moments

taking your breath away,

or they can be simple and kind

reminding you the joys in life you can find.

 

Before the rush of the day begins

I take a moment to quietly listen

What is my heart saying to me?

That today is a blessing, if only I’ll just let it be.

 

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December Success

Christmas Eve, the day all the children wait for. Presents wrapped, cookies baked, gifts made and meals planned. Today we watch Christmas movies and snuggle on the couch waiting for tomorrow to arrive. Later  a supper with family close and  far and our Christmas is complete.

Surprisingly, I can say I’m ready for Christmas. After such a busy busy December I honestly don’t know how I did it all and have a cold (from which I lost my voice), and still feel ready and enjoy the day without rushing about. I even did a few last minute batches of fudge and cookies today. I managed to make 6 Christmas stockings, 5 teacher gifts, 2 grandma gifts, 7 arm knit scarfs, all the toy shopping and many many batches of cookies. Now to some of you this may be a normal year, but for me this was a big success. I have tried for many years to try and cut back Christmas buying with handmade gifts as I do have many skills if only I have the time. Well this year I MADE time and I’m very proud of what I’ve done. I think my husband is too.

But to me the real success of Christmas is sharing the spirit of Christmas with Friends and Family. The joy, laughter, giving, food and goodies and love of the season is the greatest gift of all. If you can manage to share in just a little bit of the spirit of Christmas then I think that’s the real success. We can get so caught up in the commercial part of Christmas that we forget what it’s really about. So this Christmas Eve take a moment to look around at the ones you love and share a smile, create a memory and enjoy the simple joys. Be thankful for what you have.

It’s been a very big learning year for me and this Christmas is so peaceful and pleasant, this year that is what I’m thankful for. I’ve given of myself and it fills me with peace. That is a big December success! I hope your Christmas is beautiful too, Merry Christmas everyone!

Here…. Catch This!!

I’d like to say life is like a walk in the park… strolling along, people coming and going, things to see and do…

But I think a better analogy is…. Life is like a game of Dodgeball.

Like it’s saying….. Here see if you can catch THIS!!!!

Some balls are big, some balls are small, some of them you can see coming and dodge them all together.

Some balls come out of nowhere and knock you down, till a friend can help you get back into the game.

Some balls you can catch. The small ones you whip back as soon as you catch them. The bigger ones you need to have a better plan to catch them and then you have to take the time to deal with where to send them.  I’m just glad they are balls and not wrenches…. but then like the line from the movie…..”If you can dodge a wrench, you can dodge a ball”   so….. I don’t know….hmmmm   🙂

When I look around at my friends and family who have dealt with loss, sickness, hurt, and other challenges, I feel like my game of Dodgeball is very very mild, but it’s also my game for me to deal with as is everyone else game. We all have our own challenges.

Yes life is tough some days and it doesn’t always go the way you plan. There have been days when life is like a walk in the park, but then it seems one of my children brings me back into the game of Dodgeball,  to keep me lean and limber (HA I wish.lol) More like to remind me to be humble and that life takes hard work.

I do think it’s time for a little Timeout though, a holiday away to rejuvenate sore bodies, and I’m not going to be ashamed if all we do is sleep for two full days and not get up till noon. Dodgeball is tiring…

Keep it Simple

We’ve all heard our parents or maybe our grandparents tell us about the good ole days. A time when things were simpler and people more friendly. Perhaps as teenagers, like I know I did, we rolled our eyes at them and thought crazy ole people, don’t they see how far we’ve come? The advancements that have made our lives better, faster and more efficient? Maybe we still rolled our eyes at them in our 20’s, because look at all the amazing things that have even happened just in the last two decades. Internet, email, touch screen, smart phones, smart TV’s, Hybrid cars, medical advancements in treatments, surgical advancements, social media, and all the like. The ability to access and publish information quickly to a large portion of people. And now as a parent and only since then do I see things in a different light. All of these things have their benefits for sure, but I think there is something to be said for keeping it simple, less is more, and simple pleasures, especially when it comes to the pressure these things place on us.

I’m talking about the pressure to know things, to be informed, to share, to do the “right” things, wear the “right” things, say the “right” things and be with the “right” people. Again all of these can be good sometimes too, like knowing what your buying, or what options are available, but with all things, too much of a good thing can be bad. I’m sure we could all write a blog about how too much TV or Video games is bad, but today I want to focus in on a different issue I see that keeps recurring.

With internet and social media, parents have access to information like never before. Parenting sites, blogs, pages, support groups and research information is everywhere. We are constantly bombarded with articles, letters and posts on parenting.  Again good in moderation, but how do all those articles we read and posts we see about parenting make us feel?

More and more often I am reading encouraging blogs about not worrying if your not a perfect parent or a perfect mom. Articles about enjoying the simple things in life, or letting your kids have more independence and saying no to attachment parenting. And the scary part….. we need to read those articles, we need to be reminded to not be so hard on ourselves. So that got me thinking…. Why do we need to be told these things?

It would seem that sometime in the last two decades something happened to the standards of parenting. Socially have we expected too much, set the bar too high, and made it our business to be in everyone else’s business? Parents are scrutinized and measured up to some kind of standard set by “THEM”. And when we don’t measure up we feel guilty. It seems now that as parents we are taking a stand and saying no to this. More and more I’m reading about being a good mom is being true to yourself and trying your best. How not to be so hard on yourself if there’s toys everywhere and your home does not look like the IKEA catalouge. A reminder that our kids wont remember the clothes we wore, or the color we dyed our hair, but the times we sat on the couch and read them a bedtime story. Those articles truly encourage and inspire me. They remind me that if we really do try our best, show respect and don’t be so quick to judge, that we don’t have anything to be guilty about, except for being human. And maybe that is what we are realizing…. that we are just that Human. We make mistakes and that’s okay. Reading these things makes me hopeful that we have not lost touch with a simpler time, and that maybe we can continue to make our world a better place for our own children’s children.

Gone are the days when Mom gave you $0.25 to go see a double feature at the theatre downtown with your brother on a Saturday and told you to not to come back till supper (True recollection from my Father-in-Law) but is organizing every minute of the day being with your child and then trying to cook, clean, dress and look perfect better? I think we are desperately searching for a happy medium right now, and we are looking for other parents who feel the same way. I know I’m not the only one out there as I have found friends who share this view. Right now I believe we are in the process of trying to learn from the past and grow in the future taking the good things from both. I think we now recognize the benefits of encouraging independence but know the importance of guidelines. I want my children to be aware that people watch everything they do and say but to also not be trapped by this. I wonder what the world is going to be like for my children in two more decades, a thought I never worried about till now. Will it truly be a better place?  Only time will tell.

This mom is going to try putting her guilt and judgement out with the trash, and set realistic expectations. Live by example and not worry if my floors are sticky. I can clean them tomorrow. I will also not try to stress about those 10lbs and remember that my kids care more about hugs then my love handles. As long as I stay healthy and keep my kids feed and healthy, clothed and happy, then the rest can follow. We need to start with the simple things which are the most important. Love, food, shelter and grow from there.

My mom who inspires me always gave me a gift for mother’s day and I think it is a really good reminder…. GOOD MOMS HAVE STICKY FLOORS, DIRTY OVENS AND HAPPY KIDS. My dad who cares about my happiness with all his heart gave me another gift that says: In this house we do real, we do loud really well. we do sorry. we do fun. we do mistakes, we do second chances. we do hugs, we do family. we do love…… So my parents really get it. They know what its like. And these pictures and sayings are out there to purchase, so that tells me deep down our whole society believes it too and we want to bring it back to the forefront. We want to live it daily and for that I am glad.

Cheers to all the moms and dads out there who are trying to keep it real and simple. Be proud, Do your best, Learn from your mistakes and let your kids be kids, so in turn they can do the same.

 

Important Stuff

After a busy day , last night,  this came to me. Enjoy : )

I wake up feeling overwhelmed

In my mind so many things I want to do and things that need to be done.

My mind is full

Not sure where to start

What is important

And what can wait.

Sorting, Washing, cleaning, bills, sewing, cooking, Preparing

Can’t there be more time in the day??

Then a small voice breaks my thoughts

“Mommy can you make my hair pretty too?”

Oh right, THAT’S what is important

“Sure sweetheart, what do you want me to do?”

Play, read, color, dance, giggle

Go back to bed, still overwhelmed

But glad the important stuff didn’t wait

The rest will get done another day

For today was my reminder of what’s truly important

School Bus

Well this morning I stood out at the end of the lane and watched the School Bus pull up to our drive, Gave my not so little girl a hug and she was on her way. Yes it is officially back to school. I have mixed feelings about this day because we have had such a fun summer and I’m sad to see it end, but also I am glad because we need routine again in our lives and the kids are at each others throats. As I type this Caitlin my younger daughter who is not in school full time is happily humming a tune and coloring pictures. Yes she is glad for a break from her sister. lol. She may not understand it yet, but I can tell she’s happier.

And as for my older daughter, she was both excited and nervous today as she waited for the bus. This year she has a male teacher and was already missing her Grade 1 & 2 teacher. But we managed to get through that and I think it will be okay. Yes this day is tough for both moms, dads, and the kids I think. But it’s also exciting too. I have many more mornings ahead of me like this one and I’m sure each of my children will handle it differently. There will be joys and challenges in all the school years to come.

Well here’s to the start of another new school year.  10 months of Lunches, outdoor clothes, agendas and homework. Back to school we go.

A Decade

Ten years, a decade in time, only 1 tenth of a century, but yes it is still something worth celebrating. Ten years ago I wed the love of my life and started an adventure of a lifetime. Over the years we have shared many beautiful memories, gone through challenges, shared hopes dreams, goals, given life to three wonderful children, and many, many other adventures. And through it all we have stood by each other. He was always by my side giving me loving support and I am happy to return the same to him. We have each changed and grown so much in the years and yet deep down he is still the same sweet boy I chased after. Always loving, accepting, forgiving and generous. A wonderful way to spend a decade I think.

I look around at our home and at our kids and even at myself and see how the years have passed. My kids are older, in school, walking, riding bikes, getting older and growing up. Our house had been renovated a bit to accommodate our growing family and after ten years it finally feels like OUR home. I see time in myself,  fine lines and weight in places it was not ten years ago. My body is different after the birth of our beautiful children and my loving husband still appreciates me. Yes time has gone by, but the amazing thing is when I look at him, when I look at us, I still see the same two young kids in love. The same ones who stood together on that day with all the hopes and dreams of a happy life together. They were meant for each other, they found each other, and they couldn’t wait to start their lives together as husband and wife. And today after all the years and things we’ve been through I still feel the same. Excited to start my life together, to see what is next for us, to witness love grow stronger for each other and our children.

Yes the years have gone by, but like a sappy card, my love still remains and it is stronger then ever. It really is true. huh WOW. I am honestly looking forward to the next 10 years, to see what the next decade has in store…… A graduate, a teenager and maybe a deck and new garage by then ; )  Hey a women’s allowed to dream right? LOL  All jesting aside, I could not have asked for more. I am very fortunate and look back on the last ten years with great fondness.

Happy 10th Anniversary BAY!

24/7 – What’s on the menu?

All right ladies, here is my rant for today. I can be many things, play many roles, and where many hats. I even like to think once and a while I’m really good, but being a cook is not something I’m passionate about. Sure I enjoy baking and cooking a great recipe, but lets be honest, being a mom and wife requires more then just the occasional meal.

The thing all women need to be told if they are to become moms is this…. your day revolves around food. First its what to feed them for breakfast, what to pack in their lunch, and what to pull out to make supper. When and where to buy the cheapest groceries for the food, and are they getting enough food. Then cleaning all the dishes you cooked and ate the food in. If your nursing are you eating enough food to feed your baby, and when will they wake up again to eat…. It is a never ending thing with a family.

This week I am going to a meal prep workshop with a friend, hopefully it will inspire my creativity again about food, cause boy is it a big part of my life these days.

A view of the World…

I sat down at my computer this afternoon to do some email stuff, I open my internet and our home page pops up. This is my news life line. I do not sit down on the couch at the beginning of the day or at the end of the day to watch the local news. Today as I read the yahoo headlines on the internet, I was again reminded of why I don’t like watching the news. Innocent children caught in a tragic situation. It breaks my heart.

Media news is filled with sad stories, crime, tragedy, loss, suffering with the occasional feel good story thrown in here and there. I find this especially true for local television news. They show all the crappy stuff, then try and end on a positive note hoping you will remember that and not think of the crime and anger you saw earlier.  Does  this really work? I think not.

What are bad news stories teaching us, what are they are teaching our children, how is this affecting the next generation who will run our world? As a mom this really worries me. I wonder how different our world would be  if positive news stories made the headlines more? I’ll let that sink in a minute.

I see happy news stories on the internet more then the television, but not nearly enough. You know the stories of someone rescuing a child, or a teenager raising funds for a charity, etc… Those stories inspire us to be better people. So what if we watched the news each night and it was filled with positive events, stories and people? Would that make us want to be better people too? Would it inspire us? Encourage our communities and build a better society? Hmmmm Maybe, just maybe it would.

Imprinting

“All the lines that held me to my life were sliced apart in swift cuts, like clipping the strings to a bunch of balloons. Everything that made me who I was…….. disconnected from me in that second – snip, snip, snip – and floated up into space.

I was not left drifting. A new string held me where I was.

Not one string, but a million. Not strings, but steel cables. A million steel cables all tying me to one thing – to the very center of the universe.

I could see that now – how the universe swirled around this one point. I’d never seen the symmetry of the universe before, but now it was plain.

The gravity of the earth no longer tied me to the place where I stood.

It was the baby girl……………….”

Stephanie Meyer – Breaking Dawn

Eight years ago today, my life changed forever. An event occurred that would affect every thought, every decision, and every choice I made. It changed how I saw myself, my husband, my parents and even my friends. It changed the way I LOVED.  As I look back over the last eight years I realize that that there is nothing on this world like the love of a mother. Eight years ago today I looked into the beautiful blue eyes of my first born baby girl and the role of Mom was bestowed on me.  Never again would my world be the same, for I was a Mother now.

There are many sayings and quotes out there that show a Mom’s love. A favorite of mine is “No one else will know the strength of my love for you. After all, you’re the only one who knows what my heart sounds like from the inside.” Beautiful. But as I lie awake in bed this morning remembering the day of Deanna’s birth like it was yesterday, I thought, hey there is someone I know who has described what happens to a Mom when she looks into the eyes of her newborn baby, and for all you Twilight fans, you know what I mean when I say Imprinting!

Now correct me if I’m wrong, but as I read the passage from Stephanie Meyer’s book this morning, I did not think of the first time I saw my future husband or even the first time he told me he loved me, granted those are significant events, but I thought of each of my children when I held them for the first time. They changed my universe. They changed what mattered in life, they helped me see the big picture better. As a Parent one thing seems to matter above all else, seeing your children truly happy. To have them safe and healthy and for them to know they are loved. The similarities to what Stephanine Meyer called Imprinting in her series seems familiar now. I understand where the idea came from, for she is a mom too. She understands the special love a parent has when they see their child for the first time. This is something only a parent can understand. A beautiful, Innocent, Powerful, Life changing love.

I think I appreciate my own parents more now that I am a Mom. Now I know where the care and concern comes from, and how they love each of us. I understand their hopes and dreams for us and why they are so happy when we are happy.  I see how they made sacrifices for us, and worked hard for us, and taught us important lessons that would benefit our adult lives. Now I want to do the same for my children, to share with them and teach them the things in life that will bring them happiness. Not money or wealth, but things like honesty, respect and loyalty. That’s the kind of Mom I want to be.  When I was a teenager, I never dreamed that the role of a Mom would mean these things. It’s so  much more then just having a baby of your own to look after hey? The role of Mom means you think about yourself less and catch yourself thinking about your children and their future more than anything else.  Each decision you make now not only effects you, but it effects them as well. It truly is a huge responsibility.

I definitely “Imprinted” on each of my children when I saw them the first time, when the title of Mom was given to me, but I think it takes time to actually become a Mom. It is something that you constantly work at. Eight years ago I was given that title, but it’s only in the last few years that I finally feel like I’ve started to become the Mom I want to be. Don’t get me wrong, I have always loved my children and understood what truly mattered, but it has only been recently that I really took that role and quote “Jumped in with both feet”. Now I look at my own sacrifices differently. I see things in a different light and I really appreciate my time with my children more then I every have. I truly want to share in their joy and fun, and teach them those life lessons. It may have taken me almost 5 years to start figuring all this out, but I am glad I’m not 5 years too late.

Today I remember Deanna’s birth with pride and joy. She is a beautiful, smart and wonderful child. I am so glad she was the child that made me a Mom. I am glad that I am becoming the Mom I want to be while she is still young. I am so happy and proud of my little girl, the girl who changed my life, the very center of the universe. Happy 8th Birthday to my first born. I love you, Dad loves you and we pray for your happiness today and always.  May you always remember we are here for you, our hearts belong to you, for you have made an “imprint” on them that will last an eternity. Smile, Laugh, Love. Have a wonderful day Bunny. You are our sweetheart.

Love Mom. Love Dad.